Kingston HyperX Plug n Play 4GB DDR3 £41
20th Jul 2011 | 14:10
RAM modules automatically programmed for high speeds, but how do they perform?
Kingston HyperX PnP : Overview
The new Kingston HyperX Plug and Play High Performance Memory really is the perfect memory match for the Sandy Bridge chipset.
Intel's Sandy Bridge chips and accompanying processors have prompted a raft of goodies – particularly RAM modules – claiming to be the perfect match for Intel's technology.
But the vast majority will in fact work with pretty much any modern motherboard.
Now there's something else to add to that pile, except that Kingston's new HyperX Plug and Play (PnP) RAM modules actually have something that needs the Sandy Bridge technology to bring the best out of them.
So what, you may ask, is so special about the new Kingston HyperX Plug and Play DDR3 memory modules? Surely that's what all memory is?
Well, yes to a certain point that's right, but the new modules automatically run at the top speed setting without you having to enter the murky world of the Bios.
That means no messing around changing memory settings to make sure that it's running at the fastest speed.
Although tinkering about with the frequency, memory timings and so on is second nature to overclockers and enthusiasts, the vast majority of people never venture anywhere near the Bios, let alone change anything.
And it's these people that Kingston is aiming the new modules at.
We reviewed the desktop 4GB kit (KHX1600C9D3P1K2/4G), but there is an 8GB kit available too (KHX1600C9D3P1K2/8G), which is priced at £80.
Kingston HyperX PnP: Benchmarks
The performance hit that Kingston's conservative latency settings make on the Plug and Play High Performance Memory 4GB modules is shown here against the benchmarks of the 4GB Corsair Dominator memory.
The lower latency kit, however, will require some Bios tweakery to get it running at that rated speed, as well as a little extra cash for the privilege.
SiSoft Sandra - GB/s (Bigger is better)
Kingston HyperX PnP 4GB 1600MHz: 19.65
Corsair Vengeance 8GB 1600MHz: 20.75
Corsair Dominator 4GB 1600MHz: 21.18
World in Conflict - FPS (Bigger is better)
Kingston HyperX PnP 4GB 1600MHz: 101fps
Corsair Vengeance 8GB 1600MHz: 104fps
Corsair Dominator 4GB 1600MHz: 105fps
Kingston HyperX Plug and Play: Verdict
Although you can use many different DDR3 memory speeds in conjunction with Intel's Sandy Bridge technology, from 1066MHz upwards, when it was launched Intel only mentioned 1066/1333MHz support on official specifications.
This was because, at the time, these were the only officially supported speeds from the Joint Electron Devices Engineering Council (JEDEC).
However JEDEC – the organisation that looks after the standards for memory, as well as a great many other things – recently announced official support for both 1600MHz and 1866MHz frequencies.
By programming the SPD of its new HyperX Plug and Play High Performance Memory modules with these new official JEDEC-compliant settings, Kingston's memory automatically runs at the higher speeds in Sandy Bridge motherboards and notebooks.
In the case of the desktop modules this is just 1600MHz, while – quite bizarrely – the laptop user gets the choice of either 1600MHz or 1866MHz modules. So the 64 million dollar question is, does it work? Well, in a word, yes. We chucked the modules into a P67-equipped motherboard, fired it up and CPU-Z reported the memory running along nicely at 1600MHz without us having to go anywhere near the Bios.
To aid the memory running smoothly, though, without resorting to adjusting settings in the Bios, Kingston has used fairly conservative latency settings (9-9-9-27) with its HyperX Plug and Play High Performance Memory. This conservative memory stance means that, as it stands, these DDR3 modules run slightly slower than the other 1600MHz memory modules we tested it against.
Overclockers and enthusiasts have no qualms about getting their hands dirty in the Bios, adjusting all the memory settings to get the best performance out of a module. That doesn't necessarily mean overclocking it, it just means getting it running as fast as the manufacturer intended.
Kingston's HyperX Plug and Play High Performance Memory modules allow non-overclockers/ enthusiasts to add faster memory to their system without having to worry about using the Bios.
We are puzzled as to why notebook users get a choice between both of the new JEDEC-supported speeds while desktop users have to make do with the slower 1600MHz speed.
The Kingston HyperX Plug and Play High Performance Memory isn't about absolute performance memory prowess, this is about hitting rated speeds without the average PC gamer getting their hands dirty in the confusing world of the Bios. And in that it excels.